Couple/Uncouple Spouses

Updated: 2020-07-02

When you're preparing the tax returns for both the principal taxpayer and spouse/partner, couple the returns so that TaxCycle can optimize the tax credits and share the information.

If you carried forward a coupled return from the prior year—whether from TaxCycle or another professional tax software—TaxCycle automatically creates a coupled return for the current year.

In TaxCycle, coupled and family returns are always saved in one file. This makes it easier to manage the files, as you can't accidentally break a link between returns by moving one of the linked files.

Couple a Return

  1. On the principal taxpayer's return, and select a marital status of either married or common-law.
    Screen Capture: Select Marital Status
  2. Press the F5 key, or go to taxpayer drop-down menu in the sidebar and select Add spouse/partner.
  3. You can also do this from the Switch to spouse button in the Home menu.
    Screen Capture: Add Spouse or Partner
  4. If you chose Create a new return for the spouse and you've already entered the spouse information on the Info worksheet, TaxCycle uses that information to create the spouse's return.
  5. If you chose Open an existing return for spouse, browse for the file and click Open to link the returns. TaxCycle will ask you whether you want to delete the old file for the spouse by moving it to the recycle bin.
  6. Click OK.
    Screen Capture: Add a Spouse
  7. Save (Ctrl+S) both returns together to create a new file name. (See the File Naming Options help topic to learn how to set these defaults.)
What if two dependants are married or common-law?

If you are preparing a return dependants who are married or common-law, do not couple those returns. Read the Dependant and Family Returns help topic for instructions on how to trigger optimizations between those dependant spouses.

What if you aren't preparing the spouse's return?

If you aren't preparing the spouse/partner tax return, do not couple the returns. Instead, set the marital status for the principal taxpayer to married or common-law and then complete Schedule 2 to enter spouse's tax information.

When to couple returns for a part-year resident or non-resident spouse?

Do not couple the returns if the principal taxpayer was a resident for the full year and the spouse was a non-resident for the full year. Both taxpayers must have the same residency to have a coupled return.

Only complete a return for a non-resident spouse if he/she earned income that was taxable in Canada and that was not already subject to withholding taxes. Examples include employment income, self-employment income, or capital gains. Dividends, interest and rental income would already have been subject to withholding taxes.

You may couple returns if the spouse arrived in or left Canada during the year. Add the entry or exit date on the spouse's Info worksheet and use the spouse's Immigrant/Emigrant worksheet to enter the details of income earned before/after entering/exiting Canada and determine whether the spouse's non-refundable tax credits can be prorated.

For detailed instructions on preparing tax returns for individuals and couples who are non-resident or part-year residents, please read the Immigrants, Emigrants and Non-Residents help topic.

Uncouple/Detach a Return

  1. Open a coupled or family tax return.
  2. Click the Detach button in the Home menu.
  3. You can also do this by clicking the icon to the right of the taxpayer's name in the drop-down menu in the sidebar.
    Screen Capture: Detach
  4. In the dialog box that opens, choose which taxpayer to detach from the file.
  5. Click Detach return. TaxCycle creates and opens a new file for that taxpayer.
  6. If you checked Immediately save both files and update the Client Manager, TaxCycle saves the files right away. If not, save (Ctrl+S) the new files.
    Screen Capture: Choose Which Taxpayer to Detach